Write an essay where you tell us what test preparation practices work best for you and why.

Two words. Homework. Party. At least that's what I like to call them. I believe there's something so psychologically powerful about putting a positive connotation to something that is often seen as boring and mundane. If you ask me to study I'm most likely to say no. But if you ask me if I want to have a homework party, I'm in. Now a homework party or a study party isn't like your typical party but I might share a few similarities. Snacks, music, friends. The best way I find for me to study is that I have a comfortable environment. Many people often say they find music distracting, but I would disagree, I find it helpful to focus. If you were to walk into my schools library I guarantee almost everyone in their has headphones. So step one. My suggestion, grab headphones, grab a speaker, and have your music on nice and low. I like to listen to classical music while I study. I often have two or three symphonies that I like to listen to while studying. I like to think that if I have a set choice of music for when I study it will trick my mind into realizing it's time to study by the power of musical association. Step two. Have a snack ready to go. Grab and apple or some carrots, maybe pretzels. Try to choose a healthy snack to help promote healthy habits. Studying is tiring. Trust me, you'll want the snack. Sometimes I try to reward myself with snacks in order to study. Step three, find a friend or two to study with. For me personally I don't find studying with other people distracting. Often I find it motivating to study with other people. I am also extremely competitive so I never want to be the first to finish. Peer pressure to continue studying can be a helpful influence on me. I'm no expert on psychology and the best techniques to help strengthen memory or effectively study and prepare, but I do know that is all useless unless you can motivate yourself to sit down and invest time into practice and preparation.

Austin from Washington
College Junior
Southeastern University